My good friend Michelle Alvez has transformed her life through fitness. She is sharing her story in her new blog and posted a Before/After picture to highlight how far she has come. It caused me to flash back to a similar photo moment of my own.
Four years ago, my co-worker was scouting for a website photo shoot and asked me if she could do a couple of test shots. When I saw the pictures of me at home later that night, I ran to the bathroom, stripped and stood on the scale. 189 pounds at age 47. This was the catalyst that started it all.
Fast forward to the picture on the right, which is me at 51 years old and 164 pounds. More importantly, I am wearing the proud smile of a guy who just broke the 2-hour barrier in a half marathon, something I never dreamed of doing at age 47. So what happened in those 4 years?
I could share my complete training and diet plan and all the things I did right, but I feel more compelled to share something else that happened during that time. I struggled. I made mistakes. I got injured. I had schedule conflicts. I went on eating binges. I got discouraged. I had to run at night, in the rain and in the cold. I had to buy a lot of new shoes and family-size bottles of ibuprofen.
So why did I keep going? Why keep pushing and punishing my old body? Because I was making a trade. Every time I rested after working hard, I got stronger. I felt healthier and looked better in the mirror, and I knew I was going to live longer to be there for my family and friends. In other words, it was just plain worth it.
Many of you have experienced a similar catalyst in your life as well. Maybe it was a party photo, a number on a scale, or a bad report from the doctor. I know many of you have slowly fought your way back to fitness just as I have, and I applaud you!
If you haven’t gone as far as you want to go yet, take heart. It’s your life and you control the time clock for your goals. You will experience all the same adversities I listed above, and then some. And then one day… you will look at the new after photo and not recognize the person in the before photo. And you will have traded wisely.
Use the catalyst and react.